Northern Tier 2010

July 14, 2010

Pondering the Pend Oreille

Filed under: Idaho, Section 01, Washington — Henry Scott @ 10:45 pm


That’s a silly title (aren’t they all?), but it helps me to remember how to pronounce the name of this beautiful river that I followed all day. It has a rich history of logging and fur trading — hence the French naming, which my mother pointed out in the comments yesterday means “hang ear.” It is pronounced “Ponderay,” which I learned by asking a USFS worker at Panhandle Park, where I stopped to cook some lunch. Amusingly, at least to me, is that there’s actually a town with that name and spelling just a bit north of Sandpoint, Idaho.


Today was much flatter than I’ve experienced so far, but it was a fairly hard day for me due to headwinds and, I suspect, some built-up fatigue. I’m afraid I exacerbated that tired feeling by making a poor “second lunch” choice by stopping at McDonald’s in Newport. I’m trying to fake enthusiasm in the photo at right, which I took soon after leaving the Newport McDonald’s. In reality, I was really wishing I’d made a different food choice.

Just for the record, I’ve been eating lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts while I ride, and cooking simple pastas, grains and oatmeal when stopped– I tend to only mention the gross excesses for amusement… like today’s chicken club sandwich, chicken snack wrap, french fries, chocolate shake and two apple pies. I guess there’s a reason for why Tour de France riders don’t eat that kind of stuff during the race!


Anyway, despite the tired legs today, I had a great time and met a lot of interesting people. I met the man at left, Warren, on LeClerk Rd while he was adjusting the chain on his motor-assisted bicycle; he is literally riding around the country. He lives in Alabama and is making a big loop around the U.S. He’s been undertaking one adventure after another since his retirement from the Marines. (He started biking to get back to Alabama after hiking the Appalachian Trail… from Alabama!)

As the photo above indicates, I left Washington today and entered Idaho. I’m camped at another RV park, this time just a few miles south of Sandpoint. I had prettier choices several miles back, but I kept looking for something better. Before I knew it, however, it was getting dark, and this was my only option. That said, it was nice to get a hot shower.

Notably, once I reach Sandpoint, I’ll move on to the second section of the Northern Tier. I’ve been riding for seven days, and my total mileage is 485 for a daily average of ~69 miles.

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2 Comments »

  1. Maybe because I am a runner to tries to eat “lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts” and “cooking simple pastas, grains and oatmeal” but who also has a weakness for salty deep fried foods, I really likes the details on the food and eating, sorry the McD’s made you feel logy, but good lesson learned and congrats on one state down.

    Comment by stevie.g — July 15, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  2. I live in Newport and love Pend Oreille County. Just now starting to get into bicycling and loving that too. I had to laugh when I read your comment about your regret for having eaten your lunch at McDonalds. Oh, that salty, savory food and creamy milkshake had to taste good, at first, but then it’s that long lingering feeling later that just never makes it worthwhile. Enjoy your riding!

    Comment by Donna — July 16, 2010 @ 2:41 am


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